Best books for a soulful deep dive

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up Jewish, third-generation in Latin America has given me a strong identity and a unique lens living as a double-minority. My entire life, I’ve been fascinated by life’s deep questions, the arts, and metaphysics. When no college major was clicking, I decided to pursue a B.A. in philosophy and comparative religion to better get to know my own faith and search for a universal truth across all world religions and cultures. It was in my college poetry class, where I first started writing as an outlet for my thoughts and many of the poems in my book were written then and reworked over the next two decades.


I wrote...

ManuScrita: Poems on Life, Love, & the Nature of Reality

By Michael Teichberg,

Book cover of ManuScrita: Poems on Life, Love, & the Nature of Reality

What is my book about?

Embark on a transformative journey of introspection and wonder with ManuScrita, a captivating, award-winning poetry collection two decades in the making. Inspired by undergraduate studies in philosophy, comparative religion, Judaic studies, astronomy, and metaphysics, as well as encounters with eclectic music, movies, and conversations with strangers and friends, this collection offers a lifelong odyssey for reflection.

Featuring poems composed during the Poet-in-Decadence Writer's Residence for O, Miami Poetry Month in 2016, alongside experimental formats, short free-form essays, and stream-of-consciousness exercises, ManuScrita offers an immersive experience that invites readers to delve into the depths of their own consciousness. Prepare to be transported, challenged, and moved by this debut publication, which celebrates life, love, and the nature of reality through a mystic's lens.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet

Michael Teichberg Why did I love this book?

My father bought me this book when I was eight years old because he saw my interest in life’s deeper meaning and my tendency to overthink things, so he thought I would benefit from the positive-thinking mindset of the Tao.

The book is an ideal primer on Taoism for all ages because it cleverly introduces profound Eastern philosophical concepts through the whimsical world of Winnie the Pooh. Benjamin Hoff uses the beloved characters created by A.A. Milne to illustrate key Taoist principles simply.

To this day I embody the childlike curiosity of Pooh and live intentionally by being in the present moment, lessons I learned from this book.

By Benjamin Hoff, E. H. Shepard (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

"It's hard to be brave,' said Piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal."
Rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "It is because you are a very small animal that you will be useful in the adventure before us."

Winnie-the-Pooh has a certain way about him, a way of doing things that has made him the world's most beloved bear, and Pooh's Way, as Benjamin Hoff brilliantly demonstrates, seems strangely close to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism. And as for Piglet, he embodies the very important principle of Te, meaning Virtue…


Book cover of The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Michael Teichberg Why did I love this book?

This was the first book I ever read that challenged my conventional thinking about reality, consciousness, and human potential. Castañeda's experiences with Don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian sorcerer invites readers to question their perception of reality and the significance of altered states of consciousness to understand the human experience.

The book introduced me to the practice of lucid dreaming, and to this day this practice is the center of my spiritual euphoric life experiences.

By Carlos Castaneda,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Teachings of Don Juan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An anthropologist records his corversations with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer and offers a structural analysis of Don Juan's teachings.


Book cover of The Law of Love

Michael Teichberg Why did I love this book?

The first science fiction book I ever read was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. This book began my lifelong passion for watching sci-fi movies and reading books. It wasn’t until the end of high school that I would discover The Law of Love by Laura Esquivel, an epic novel that combines romance, spirituality, and science fiction.

The story weaves eternal themes of love, destiny, reincarnation, and human interconnectedness juxtaposed against a futuristic society where time and space travel, telepathy, and access to the mystical Akashic records (every person’s thoughts, emotions, experiences, and actions) are accessible to all.

While the author’s book Like Water for Chocolate received widespread attention and a Hollywood movie adaptation, it was The Law of Love that to this day shapes my romantic ideals and titillates my sci-fi and philosophical curiosities.

By Laura Esquivel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Law of Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The greatly anticipated new work from the author of the international bestseller Like Water for Chocolate tells a cosmic love story, a Mexican Midsummer Night's Dream that stretches from the fall of Montezuma's Mexico to the 23rd century. By including the music that so perfectly accompanies the story, this audio weaves and enchanting and enveloping spell that will absorb listeners in ways no novel ever has before. Simultaneous hardcover release from Crown. 4 cassettes.


Book cover of The Doors of Perception

Michael Teichberg Why did I love this book?

The Doors of Perception is the seminal work of Aldous Huxley for anyone wanting to experience first-hand altered states of consciousness without having to personally ingest hallucinogens. Huxley published it in 1954 and in it he reflects on perceptions of reality, the nature of existence, and the mind's capacity for understanding. It helped popularize psychedelic exploration.

At a time when many around me were experimenting with psychedelics in college, I did not participate, and this book helped supplement my philosophy and comparative religion studies due to Huxley’s extremely well-written account on the subjective nature of reality and the human quest for deeper meaning.

By Aldous Huxley,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Doors of Perception as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover this profound account of Huxley's famous experimentation with mescalin that has influenced writers and artists for decades.

'Concise, evocative, wise and, above all, humane, The Doors of Perception is a masterpiece' Sunday Times

In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed. Huxley described his experience with breathtaking immediacy in The Doors of Perception.

In its sequel Heaven and Hell, he goes…


Book cover of The Alchemist

Michael Teichberg Why did I love this book?

This book by Paulo Coelho is a great read for anyone pursuing their dream or in need of motivation to set things in motion.

The book was an early influence to me in prioritizing the pursuit of life’s purpose, following your heart and “gut”, and learning from both the good and bad times. The protagonist goes on a metaphorical journey that makes one think about destiny, spirituality, and how everything is connected in your journey.

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


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Acquaintance

By Jeff Stookey,

Book cover of Acquaintance

Jeff Stookey Author Of Dangerous Medicine

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Historical fiction writer Gay male Reader History buff Curious human

Jeff's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

As a young doctor, Carl Holman has experienced the horrors of World War I and the death of his lover, a fellow officer. Back home after the War, he befriends a young jazz musician who he hopes will become a companion he can share his life with. But this is Oregon: the Ku Klux Klan is gaining influence, homosexual acts are illegal, and such a relationship will jeopardize Carl’s promising medical career.

Musician Jimmy Harper has his own dreams for the future and his own obstacles to overcome before he will allow himself to accept Carl’s love. More than a gay love story, Acquaintance is a deep dive into gay and lesbian history based on extensive period research of the 1920s.

Acquaintance

By Jeff Stookey,

What is this book about?

As a young surgeon, Carl Holman has experienced the horrors of World War I and the loss of his lover, a fellow officer. Back home after the war, he befriends a young jazz musician who he hopes will become a companion he can share his life with. But this is Oregon: the Ku Klux Klan is gaining influence, homosexual acts are illegal, and such a relationship will jeopardize Carl’s promising medical career. Musician Jimmy Harper has his own dreams for the future and his own obstacles to overcome before he will allow himself to accept Carl’s love.
Acquaintance is a…


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